Google brings voice-enabled search to the desktop

On Chrome, people can now search the web just by speaking at their computer

Just by saying "Okay Google," people will soon be able to search using voice commands on their Chrome-powered desktop and laptop computers, Google said Wednesday.

"Okay Google, show me things to do in Santa Cruz," a person can say. They get back a list of attractions in the town as well nearby places Google thinks should be included.

The feature, which Google calls Conversational Search, taps into the company's knowledge graph, which tries to make connections between different bits of information and understand the context of people's searches.

Conversational Search also builds on Google's voice recognition and natural language processing technology, already used on mobile devices running Chrome and Android.

Voice-enabled search for the desktop was unveiled Wednesday at Google's I/O developer conference in San Francisco, which Google says more than 6,000 people are attending.

The announcement is another step toward Google being able to let people use its search technology in as natural a way as possible, "pretty much like you would ask a friend," said Amit Singhal, a senior vice president at Google and head of its core ranking team.

Without needing to activate the computer's microphone, "you can sit back, relax, say, 'Okay Google,' ask your question, and have Google speak back the answer," he said.

Google's Knowledge Graph contains more than 750 million entries, and "as it grows it becomes more and more powerful each day," according to Singhal.

"Search is becoming a uniquely 'you' experience that intelligently answers your questions across all screens," he said.

Conversational Search for desktops and laptops is available to a limited number of users as part of Google's Search Field Trial and will roll out more broadly soon, the company said.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internetGooglesearch enginesInternet-based applications and services

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?